Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

December 14, 2022

Navajo Government Joining Australian Company to Devastate Hualapai Sacred Land for Lithium Mine

Hualapai Walk for the Sacred Opposing Lithium Mine

Navajo Government Joining Australian Company to Devastate Hualapai Sacred Land for Lithium Mine

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
December 10, 2022

The Navajo Nation's "energy transition office" plans to operate the lithium mine that will devastate Hualapai's sacred spring used for healing since time immemorial. In a deal with the Australian company, Vern Lund, the CEO of the Navajo office in Farmington, N.M., would join the lithium company's board.

The lithium mine will deplete and poison the water on Hualapai sacred ancestral land in northwest Arizona. Hualapai elders point out their sacred plants and the animals will be poisoned.

"It will destroy what is important to our people," said Ivan Bender, Hualapai caretaker at the sacred spring Ha'Kamwe. "Every living thing needs clean water."

Already, Navajo Transitional Energy Company has invested Dine' money in a Texas company mining rare metals, and operates the Navajo Mine, three coal mines in Wyoming and Montana. It owns a percentage of the coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant on the Navajo Nation, among the worst polluters in the world.

Arizona Lithium, a subsidiary of Hawkstone Mining in Australia, said that the Navajo Transitional Energy Company will take over the operational development of Big Sandy, managing everything from permitting requirements to a definitive feasibility study and mine construction, under the terms of the deal.

Hualapai said carving an open pit mine into the earth would devastate the aquifer that feeds Ha’Kamwe, a sacred spring that the Hualapai people have used medicinally since time immemorial.

It is the latest horrific greenwashing which promotes electric vehicles, without considering the cost to Paiute, Quechan, and Hualapai, whose land will be poisoned and scarred, and water depleted and poisoned, by lithium mines in Nevada, southern California and Arizona. The targeted area for a lithium mine in northern Nevada is a Pauite Massacre site.

Lithium has become the new gold of the greedy, with the push for electric vehicles, in a global spasm of greenwashing.

The Navajo Transitional Energy Company's CEO Vern Lund would be appointed to Arizona Lithium’s board if a definitive agreement is signed.

The Navajo company said it will "lead the operational development of Big Sandy, which will include everything from Bureau of Land Management project permitting, mine design, drilling environmental assessments, construction, and contract mining operations." It made the announcement on December 5 in a press statement.

"By meeting certain mining development milestones at Big Sandy, NTEC could also become a substantial shareholder in Arizona Lithium," the Australian company said.

Arizona Mining reports, 
"A definitive agreement between the firms would allow NTEC to receive a cash remuneration or Arizona Lithium shares and options to purchase additional ordinary shares by meeting certain milestones in the project development."

Ivan Bender, Hualapai, describes how the sacred springs of Ha'kamwe' are threatened by Hawkstone Mining Company's planned lithium mine in Arizona.

Bender has been the caretaker of the sacred site, Ha'kamwe', where a healing spring bursts onto the land.

"Their mine would surround the sacred site on three sides, and initial test drilling has already harmed the springs," said Max Wilbert, who interviewed Bender when he visited Thacker Pass, the Paiute Massacre site threatened by a lithium mine in northern Nevada.

While visiting Thacker Pass, Bender said Ha'kamwe is a holy place, a sacred place, and the water and land must be protected from drilling and mining. "Water is life. Water is sacred."

"We need water, we need clean water," Bender said. "They are poisoning our water."

"Do what is right for our future generations," he said, adding that the water will be depleted and poisoned by drilling and mining, and destroy the animals.

"It will destroy what is important to our people," Bender said. "Every living thing needs clean water."

"Let's come together and fight for our water."

Hualapai, on the walk for the sacred to protect the area, said the exploratory drilling for the project would disturb cultural sites, desert habitat, and the aquifer that feeds Ha’Kamwe, a sacred spring that the Hualapai people have used medicinally since time immemorial.

"A future operational mine, described vaguely and inconsistently in presentations by Hawkstone Mining but eagerly promised to investors on their website, would carve a large open-pit mine into the earth, produce sulfuric acid to extract lithium from unearthed clay, and leave behind toxic acidic tailings (mining waste)," Hualapai said protecting the sacred.

Biden's energy transition team in Four Corners led by the atomic bomb industry

The Biden administration, including Interior Sec. Deb Haaland, met with Navajo Nation officials in the border town of Farmington, N.M., in August and announced an energy transition team headed by the atomic bomb industry, Los Alamos National Labs.

Immediately afterward, the Navajo Nation announced a proposed new freight train line to pass through the Navajo communities already devastated by Coal War uranium mining, the radioactive spill at Church Rock.

Navajo Nation's Four Corners Power Plant continues to poison the air and cause global warming

At the United Nations Climate Summit, COP27 in Egypt, a new Climate Trace map revealed that the Four Corners Power Plant, and coal mines, on the Navajo Nation, and the oil and gas fields in San Juan County, N.M., are among the world's top emitters of greenhouse gasses causing global warming, and poisoning the air.

Four Corners Power Plant is shown on the Climate Trace map released in Egypt.

Around the world, Indigenous People are being tortured and assassinated as they defend their land and water, families, homes and communities.

More than 1,700 environmental activists have been killed trying to protect their land and resources over the past decade, according to a report by the international NGO Global Witness.

In 2021 alone, more than 200 environmental and land-defense activists were killed around the world including 54 in Mexico, the deadliest country for environmentalists, Al-Jazeera reports.

The Navajo government continues to defile the earth with coal mining. While coal-fired electricity is produced primarily for distant cities, many Dine' live without running water and electricity and suffer from poisoned water and air from the coal and power plant industry.

Navajo Transitional Energy Company, located in the border town of Farmington, N.M.

Read more:

Strategic Alliance with Navajo Nation Mining Company, by Arizona Lithium

Reuters: Arizona Lithium ties up with Native American firm to develop lithium mine

Protect Ha'Kamwe

Biden's Energy transition team headed by the atomic bomb industry in Four Corners

Censored News: "The Navajo Transitional Energy Company, part of the Navajo government and located in the bordertown of Farmington, N.M., owns 20 percent of the shares in Texas Mineral Resources Corp., and 7 percent ownership interest in the Four Corners Power Plant on the Navajo Nation. It also operates the Navajo Coal mine, and three coal mines in Wyoming and Montana, according to its website.

The Texas Mineral Resources Corp. mines rare earth minerals for U.S. military killing machines. Besides mining for electric vehicles, it produced "rare earths used in each F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet, assembled by Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth Texas," its website states."

Greenwashing: Biden, Haaland, and the Navajo Nation's Runaway Train: Oil, Gas, Coal and Lithium

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